News from Zukuka Bora - 2019

More background about the project - Link here

It's always more than coffee. As much as we all love coffee,
and as much as we highlight the value of quality coffee both for producers
and consumers, it's ultimately about far more than coffee.

As Zukuka Bora we are privileged to be just a small part
of a much wider initiative working to build up people and communities
across the Mt Elgon region. We'd love to shine a light on just a few things
that our partner organisation JENGA Uganda is currently doing.

One of the challenges of our coffee project is that farmers
receive pretty much all the income from their harvested coffee
at just one point of the year - harvest season. For many families
this income has to stretch the whole year covering school fees,
health needs, emergencies, day-to-day living.
The 'Hungry Season' bonus we pay alleviates this to an extent,
but JENGA's savings and loans project really makes a difference here.

JENGA now has over 3,000 people meeting in groups of 30 every week to save.
Through the year, the savings pot grows, members are allowed to apply for loans,
from the pot, with a small amount of interest charged.
At the end of the year the savings are returned and interest shared out
- with much celebration of course! Most of our registered coffee farmers
are now members of these groups and we're hearing story after story
of the positive impact the savings groups are making.

Our aim is holistic development - for individuals, families, communities
and, of course, the environment we share.

It's always more than coffee!

Thank you to our buyers - both internationally and here in Uganda
who make this big positive impact possible.

Very exciting to be able to offer training and create jobs
throughout the whole coffee value chain.

Here's Ken, on the left, learning the mysteries of roasting
on our ( now too-small ) machine.

In just a few hectic weeks we roast, pack and distribute
hundreds of bags across Uganda.      

Many of these bags then fly back with visitors from around the world.


2019 - New Year - New Plans!

Not much to see at the moment, apart from a fantastic view of our mountain,
but in the next period this little pocket of land is going to see big changes!

This site will provide a permanent 'home' for Zukuka Bora, where we plan
to build a roastery, coffee processing facilities and a visitor/training centre.

This will deliver our vision to see this project benefit local people in every part
of the coffee story - from training farmers on good cultivation practices
- employing teams of people to dry and process the coffee
and nurturing local roasters and baristas.

It has been our desire from the outset to see this beautiful country and its people fully and fairly benefit from this special crop.
This marks an important step on that journey.

Thank you, as always, to our supporters and friends - and, in this case, a special thank you to EFOD ( Efod Charity Efod NW )
Please check them out - a great organisation, who engage young engineers to design, fundraise and be involved in
constructing projects that are having a positive impact in some of the poorest parts of the world.
We're looking forward to hosting them very soon!

We're feeling excited today as the last of the season's coffee is now dry
and packed ready for the final stages of processing before export and roasting!

This is a milestone in what has been a tiring, crazy and adventure-filled season.

These bags are the samples which will be heading out around the world
to show the huge potential of Ugandan specialty coffee.

An exciting mix of washed, honey,
natural and experimental fermentation processes
- some delicious coffee is coming your way!

Zukuka People - Rogers and Evelyn - and small army . . .

What a team - Rogers and Evelyn have been with Zukuka Bora since the start.
They manage our main washing station almost 2000m up on Wanale working from dawn to get the coffee out in the sun to dry, sorting through the day, and then till very late at night pulping and washing coffee that has been delivered from farmers all over the mountain.

We could not do this without them.

In addition - if that's not enough Rogers manages the on-site tree nursery,
where we're raising thousands of great shade-tree seedlings to be given
to our farmers.

Next door to our washing station, we also have JENGA Uganda's goat project, where Rogers and Evelyn give out female goats to the most vulnerable members of the community. As the goats reproduce, the first-born female is given out to another community member, so that the project grows and more and more people benefit. After the first-born is given out, all further new-born goats are kept by the recipient.

Lately we've been hearing stories of how such a small intervention is generating income to provide for much-needed school fees, medical bills and home building.

All happening in one little corner of the mountain.

Big thanks to all involved - especially Rogers and Evelyn.

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